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Why Every Business Needs Chatbots, Marketing Automation and CRMs


Thota Santosh

“The first step is to establish that something is possible; then probability will occur.” — Elon Musk

How critical are websites for a business? A website can generate business, deliver marketing messages and promote a good experience among customers. It is the face of the brand.

Until now, the only must-have requisites most people know for business are these 3 features:

  1. User-friendly website
  2. Efficient marketing team
  3. Brilliant salespersons

To dig in deeper with industry intelligence, the dynamics of businesses have changed over the last few years and so have the features.

It is no surprise that the technology-stricken world is removing the constraints of human limitations and prioritizing interactive websites, chatbots and marketing tools to complement the traditional features.

A research conducted by the University Of Oklahoma concluded that the amount of interaction on a website is directly linked to the strength credibility manipulations.

Business websites are evolving from static to interactive in order to build credibility. The attention on each landing page ensures that the user is kept engaged and immersed while trying to absorb the brand and its products. Interactive landing pages are key to generating leads in the simplest manner.

This goes beyond just a sign-up form and in turn entices the user into exchanging their information to explore more of the website. A few benefits of landing pages include measuring success in comparison to the goals, increased conversions, better data and insights, improved paid search campaigns, increased credibility, expanded email database repository, etc to name a few.

It is rare to come across website landing pages infused with engaging chatbot tools like these: SmatBot and ActiveChat. These two websites have great content along with AI-driven chatbots that engage the consumer in conversations.

Chatbots are the most efficient interaction channels that supplement the content and other channels. Most product-based websites prefer a low-cost site that is only intended to communicate with customers and sell their products.

In such cases, chatbots would assist the business objective in communicating with the customer, bringing in their information, and keeping a track of which products they’re most likely interested in. As normal websites would save their resources than spending on interactive landing pages, a simple AI-driven chatbot would fill the gap and improve the customer experience as well as satisfaction. Like the one below.

SmatBot Interactive Landing Page

You may ask why to spend the resources on a chatbot?

“According to Gartner, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human by 2020.”

Chatbots are computer programs that can have real-time conversations. With artificial intelligence playing a major role today, AI-driven chatbots have levelled up to have a distinct personality of their own customized to business needs.

The benefits of chatbots seem to amplify but here are a few that are worthy for every business:

  1. 24/7 and 365 Days Availability: A chatbot is available at all times of the day and all days of the year. Unlike a human executive, a chatbot doesn’t tire out or retire which increases the efficiency of the customer support. It sticks to the motto that ‘Every client matters’.
  2. Self-Learning: Artificially Intelligent chatbots that work by the laws of machines learning are self-sufficient. They can answer ambiguous questions with ease an don’t stop learning. As the chatbot is being put to use, it learns from its experiences to enhance its knowledge much like a human being would do.
  3. Capacity To Handle ’N’ Number Of Customer Queries: A human executive is restricted to having a one-on-one conversation, as that’s the handling capacity and is prone to fewer errors. Whereas a chatbot can have a conversation with multiple people at a time and that too, with minimal to no waiting time.
  4. Engage Customers Within Chat Platforms: Most questions asked on business pages of Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn remain unanswered. A chatbot will respond to 100% of messages and increase conversions at a faster rate.
  5. High Lead Generation Rate: Who doesn’t love an engaging conversation to keep going? A chatbot just does that — seamlessly engages the customer, draws information from the user and generates leads. Lead generation is of utmost importance in any business.
  6. Cost-Effective With Less Onboarding Time: Employees are continually shifting to various other roles within the company or quit jobs. This requires a constant effort from the business to train new employees and teach them the skills of the role. Well, with a chatbot, the onboarding time lasts for a few minutes and it is extremely cost-effective in the long run.
  7. Reduced Bounce Rate: Engaging customers is the most-sure form of reducing high bounce rates that websites usually face. Chatbots have all the content stored to engage the customer and increasing conversions, thereby avoiding the bounce rates.

According to a survey of American online consumers, 68% engage in live chat and 63% prefer getting back to a website with live chat for repeat purchase.

Did you know that? Why are live chats gaining traction for businesses?

Because they are the fastest way to help your customers.

Customers prefer visiting websites that have live chat options for the sake of convenience. Live chat has been around for a few years now, but what’s different is that it no more relies on human to human interactions. Instead, live chats of the day are more of human to bot interactions.

Chatbots are being leveraged in live chats due to its advantageous features like the ability to find a quick fix to queries. So, a live chat that deploys a chatbot is nailing the customer service game. Here are a few chatbots that are winning customers with their live chat services:

  1. Intercom: This virtual assistant chatbot enables seamless collaboration for the various support teams in the company. It improves support and accelerates sales.
  2. SmatBot: With SmatBot, you can create a chatbot of your choice (multilingual too) and integrate it with various services and applications. The process of creating a chatbot is made easier with preset templates available in various industries. Customize the template, compose the content and grow revenue.
  3. Drift: The Drift chatbot functions on artificial intelligence and can connect buyers to your sales reps faster by saving you money, unlike live chats. This will, in turn, lead to more revenue.
  4. Crisp: Another AI-driven chatbot that is worthy is Crisp. Its live chat options complement the business with every possible benefit and retarget the customers with emails and in-app messages to generate a successful lead.

It is most important to choose a chatbot that fits or can be customized entirely to your business needs. While customers have learned to have expectations from technology, thriving in this age is made possible by innovative features.

What makes a chatbot stand out? What do the best chatbots have in common?

To put it in two words — ‘Omnichannel’ & ‘Multilingual’ features.

It is exciting for customers to know that a single chatbot can understand and converse in multiple languages. These advancements in chatbot technology are here to push businesses further into the profits zone. This makes chatbots an imperative tool for brands looking to connect to customers outside their local market.

New languages can draw the attention of new customers providing a better experience, and a chatbot is a key to climbing that experience ladder. Today, even the smallest of businesses are able to have global experience and multilingual chatbots increase the chances of potential global income exponentially for these brands.

A digital presence or an in-store presence is barely of significance as clients only look for an experience to converse in a language native to them. Supporting various languages is a major part of the transition from local to global, and from conversation to an experience.

40% of mobile interactions will be managed by smart agents by 2020. — Gartner

Omnichannel Chatbot

Omnichannel is a simple concept that underpins immense importance in CX. Moving to an omnichannel chatbot means that the chatbot can have engaging conversations with the customer on various platforms. The chatbot can strike a conversation with the client on a platform of their choice. This feature enables the integration of various platforms for a seamless transition from platform to platform.

While the omnichannel feature enables a smooth customer experience, the chatbot ensures accuracy and speed — Needless to say, this is quite a combination.

The most common industries that use omnichannel chatbots are retail, delivery, consulting, job search, booking, tourism, etc.

The biggest challenge that omnichannel chatbots solve is: ensuring the conversation continues right where it started even though customers can engage in this conversation from various platforms and devices. Businesses can save a lot of money on in-house support teams once the right chatbot is deployed to address business needs.

Now, you have seen how chatbots help inefficient lead generation. What’s the next step? How do we proceed further for lead conversion? After the lead has been generated, the marketing automation tools engage these leads through various channels like SMS, Mail, Social media campaigns and hence, are seen as a beacon of hope with the foray of chatbots.

These Marketing Automation tools are used to automate and streamline marketing and sales operations. By integrating chatbots and these tools, one can reap the benefits of leads generation and more. The marketing automation tools will allow the business to follow-up and send targeted marketing campaigns which leads to lesser resource costs. A few examples of automated marketing automation tools that have been a key factor for businesses are:

  1. HubSpot: The Hubspot marketing automation has everything under one roof — it helps businesses organize, track, and nurture leads. It automatically tracks the activities and interactions of customers through all the social media channels.
  2. Marketo: Marketo, an Adobe company itself says a lot about its marketing platform capabilities. This platform easily integrates with most CRM systems in a seamless manner and keeps your sales teams up to date.
  3. Zoho Marketing Hub: This marketing automation tool is one of the most popular and familiar ones around that lets businesses stay in touch with customers in the most effective way possible. The detailed analysis that the platform reports to the business include: why customers visited the webpage, what stage the leads are currently in, how a campaign fetched more returns, etc.
  4. Netcore Smartech: It is an AI-driven marketing growth platform that is hosted in the cloud and provides a single, unified look of your customers. It helps businesses to create and execute personalized campaigns based on actionable insights and data.

These tools leverage targeted email marketing and workflow automation across every domain. They remind visitors of recent reads, searches, and interest and in turn, give rise to numbers of potential leads that are ready to convert into customers.

This is where the next set of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software enter the business scenario to maintain healthy relationships with customers. Their goal is to be there for the customer — resolving every query and issue, updating them continuously, offering new products while upselling and cross-selling, etc. This increases customer retention and creates loyal customer bases.

A few CRM software that is popular for retaining customer relationships and enhancing them further are:

  1. Salesforce: Salesforce CRM handles all the customer interactions and relationships by focussing on sales, marketing, and support processes. It facilitates customer relationships by managing standard objects. Salesforce CRM presents reports with the data and additional, enabled analytics too.
  2. Zoho: Zoho helps in tackling customer challenges and retain happy customers. The Zoho CRM tool gathers feedback from all customers ensuring the business is aware of the needs to walk the path of success. It also tracks customer activity and inactivity reminds customers to take action and provides the right fix in a customer-business relationship.
  3. Freshworks: Freshworks is a cloud-based customer engagement platform that helps companies to provide support to customers through multiple channels. It aims to be like a personal assistant to both the company and customer while being the catalyst to strengthen their equation.

This CRM software will integrate with platforms and also lets sales personnel connect with their potential customers in real-time. The software manages all aspects of the business through a full suite of business applications. All these categories offered by the software address the gaps in every business process and speed it up. This is where the lead is nurtured and the deal is closed, regardless of the size of the business.

Majority of industries fail even though they have deployed CRM systems, and there are two major reasons why:

  • Poorly built CRM systems with basic features
  • Using a CRM system alone

The most obvious way to unleash the potential of a CRM system is to use a well-constructed one and integrate it with an AI-driven chatbot that supports the same. This will not only automate the sales teams conversations but will also relive the reporting process on a large scale.

Out of the above mentioned, Chatbots are the fine line in technology between thriving and succeeding right now. It’s potentially a huge business opportunity for the early adopters, and of course, the ones who customize it exactly to their needs. In this world of ‘experience’, chatbots are the fastest means to get to the minds of customers with engaging conversations and experiences.

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